USC, Columbia, Midlands Tech join forces on energy pact
Local leaders Wednesday (Nov. 17) embarked on a new era of cooperation to secure Columbia’s energy and economic futures by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that solidifies the partnership between the City of Columbia, the University of South Carolina and Midlands Technical College.
“This is an exciting time when local government, businesses and higher education are all working together to build a cleaner, safer and more prosperous Columbia,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “We are looking at the future here, and it is bright indeed.”
The MOU, signed by Benjamin, USC President Dr. Harris Pastides and Midlands Technical College President Dr. Marshall White Jr., provides for continued and expanded cooperation between the city, USC, and MTC, particularly in the areas of alternative-energy research and economic development.
“Only through the cooperation and leadership of all of us here today will the Midlands reach its full economic potential,” Pastides said. “This MOU reinforces our commitment to building and strengthening partnerships with the city, Midlands Technical College and entrepreneurs across the Midlands to commercialize research and drive economic development.”
Specifically, this new partnership identifies the development of alternative-energy sources, including nuclear and hydrogen, as priorities for economic growth within Columbia and throughout the Midlands and as fundamental for our nation’s long-term stability and energy independence.
“The Midlands has already made great strides toward being a national leader in the pursuit of alternate-energy solutions, especially in nuclear power and hydrogen fuel cells,” said White. “This new partnership between the city, the university and Midlands Technical College is another big step in that direction. This type of collaboration will allow all three partners to share resources and knowledge toward the common goal of creating jobs here in the Midlands and fueling our local and state economies. Midlands Technical College is looking forward to playing an important role in this partnership.”